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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Durable Goods Orders During June 2021

The Durable Goods Orders report for June 2021 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

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Predicted: +1.5%

  • Actual: $257,627,000,000 (+$2,111,000,000 [+0.826%])

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CHART: Durable Goods Orders - June 2021 Update

CHART: Durable Goods Orders - June 2021 Update

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The yellow-highlighted figures represent the dollar amount of new orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers, along with both the dollar and month-to-month percentage change.

Examples of durable goods: cars, airplanes, computers, furniture -- items that are built to last at least three years.

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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for July 2021

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (July 2021) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

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Predicted: 125.0
  • Actual: 129.1

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Previous Month (revised): 128.9

  • Change from Previous Month: +0.1552% (+0.2 point)
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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence was flat in July but remains at its highest level since February 2020 (132.6),' said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting economic growth in Q3 is off to a strong start. Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook didn’t waver, and they continued to expect that business conditions, jobs, and personal financial prospects will improve. Short-term inflation expectations eased slightly but remained elevated. Spending intentions picked up in July, with a larger percentage of consumers saying they planned to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances in the coming months. Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021.'..."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

  • The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.

When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

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Monday, July 26, 2021

New Home Sales During June 2021

The June 2021 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

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Predicted: 700,000
  • Actual New Home Sales: 676,000

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  • Change from One Month Previous: -48,000 units (-6.63%)

  • Change from One Year Previous: -163,000 units (-19.428%)


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Median Price for a New Home
during June 2021: $361,800

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Average Price for a New Home
during June 2021: $428,700

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Inventory: 353,000 (6.3 months supply at current sales rate; seasonally‐adjusted.)

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CHART: New Home Sales - June 2021 Update
CHART: New Home Sales
 June 2021 Update

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Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the yellow-highlighted figure above is the seasonally adjusted and annualized number of newly-built homes with committed buyers for the indicated month.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The New Home Sales report is watched by economists and investors because it offers insight into the state of the U.S. housing market, and also provides data that can be used to predict sales of large household furniture and appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.


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Friday, July 23, 2021

Existing Home Sales During June 2021

The Existing Home Sales report for June 2021 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) this morning:

Predicted: 5,500,000
Actual: 5,860,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: +1.384% (+80,000 homes)

  •  Change from One Year Previous: +22.851% (+1,090,000 homes)
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Inventory: 1,250,000 (2.6 months supply)

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The yellow-highlighted, "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Median Price for A Used Home During June 2021: $363,300

Change from One Year Previous: +23.404% (+$689,000)

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Average Price for A Used Home During June 2021: $381,800

Change from One Year Previous: +16.084% (+$529,000)



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From Today's Report:


"...'Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales,' said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. 'Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic.'

Total housing inventory at the end of June amounted to 1.25 million units, up 3.3% from May's inventory and down 18.8% from one year ago (1.54 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, modestly up from May's 2.5-month supply but down from 3.9 months in June 2020.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $363,300, up 23.4% from June 2020 ($294,400), as every region recorded price jumps. This marks 112 straight months of year-over-year gains.

'At a broad level, home prices are in no danger of a decline due to tight inventory conditions, but I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year,' Yun said. 'Ideally, the costs for a home would rise roughly in line with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022 as more listings and new construction become available.'

Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in June, unchanged from May and down from 24 days in June 2020. Eighty-nine percent of homes sold in June 2021 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for 31% of sales in June, also even with May but down from 35% in June 2020. NAR's 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers -- released in late 2020 -- revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 31%.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in June, down from 17% in May and up from 9% in June 2020. All-cash sales accounted for 23% of transactions in June, even with May and up from 16% in June 2020.

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented less than 1% of sales in June, equal to May's percentage but down from 3% in June 2020.

'Huge wealth gains from both housing equity and the stock market have nudged up all-cash transactions, but first-time buyers who need
mortgage financing are being uniquely challenged with record-high home prices and low inventory,' Yun explained. 'Although rates are favorably low, these hurdles have been overwhelming to some potential buyers.'

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.98% in June, slightly up from 2.96% in May. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.
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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Leading Economic Index for June 2021

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for June 2021 this morning:

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Index for June 2021: 115.1 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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Predicted: +0.9%
  • Actual: +0.6999% (+0.8 point)

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  • LEI for May 2021: 114.3

  • LEI for April 2021: 113.0

  • LEI for March 2021: 111.6

  • LEI for February 2021: 110.1
     
  • LEI for January 2021: 110.1

  • LEI for December 2020: 109.6

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The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™

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Chart: Leading Economic Index - June 2021 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index
June 2021 Update

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Chart: Leading Economic Index - Six-Month Growth June 2021 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index - Six-Month Growth
June 2021 Update
 
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From Today's Report:

"...'June’s gain in the U.S. LEI was broad-based and, despite negative contributions from housing permits and average workweek, suggests that strong economic growth will continue in the near term,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.  'While month-over-month growth slowed somewhat in June, the LEI’s overall upward trend—which started with the end of the pandemic-induced recession in April 2020—accelerated further in Q2. The Conference Board still forecasts year-over-year real GDP growth of 6.6 percent for 2021 and a healthy 3.8 percent for 2022.'..."

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 16, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 16, 2021 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: +2,100,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -96,900,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 439,700,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Housing Starts During June 2021

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for June 2021:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,700,000
Actual: 1,643,000

Change From Previous Month: +6.274% (+97,000 units)
Change From One Year Previous: +29.065% (+370,000 units)

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,600,000
Actual: 1,598,000

Change From Previous Month: -5.051% (-85,000 permits)
Change From One Year Previous: +23.302% (+302,000 permits)

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Housing Starts: The top, yellow-highlighted figure is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated month. Seasonally adjusted annual rate. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States, or about the American residential construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. This report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise -- and vice versa.


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CHART: Housing Starts - June 2021 Update

CHART: Housing Starts - June 2021 Update

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Consumer Sentiment: Preliminary Results for July 2021

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Preliminary Results for July 2021 was released today:

Predicted: 85.0
  • Actual: 80.8
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  • Change from Previous Month: -5.497% (-4.7 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +11.448% (+8.3 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for June 2021: 85.5

  • Final ICS Reading for July 2020: 72.5

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From today's report:

"...Consumer sentiment posted a monthly decline of 5.5% in early July, largely due to less favorable prospects for the national economy. This decline was caused by a misjudgement by consumers in the pace that the economy would recover as the pandemic eased. This involved both underestimating the economy's ability to reactivate supply lines and restore jobs, and the resulting impact on inflation. Rather than job creation, halting and reversing an accelerating inflation rate has now become a top concern. Inflation has put added pressure on living standards, especially on lower and middle income households, and caused postponement of large discretionary purchases, especially among upper income households. Consumers' complaints about rising prices on homes, vehicles, and household durables has reached an all-time record (see the chart). Purchase rates, however, have benefitted from record increases in accumulated savings and reserve funds. A critical issue is whether consumers will find greater value in keeping a significant portion of their savings as a precautionary hedge, or spending a significant portion in an effort to avoid their inflationary erosion and to benefit from buying-in-advance of increasing market prices. The precautionary impulse will quickly fade if the 'transitory' spike in inflation extended into 2022. Resurgent consumer spending propelled by fiscal stimulus is likely to increase inflation. Small policy steps could now have a large impact on ending inflationary psychology. A slight increase in interest rates would be no surprise to consumers as 70% expected an increase in early July, a significant shift from the start of 2021 (44%) or from last July's survey (31%)..."

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The ICS is derived from the following five survey questions:


  1. "We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?"


  2. "Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?"


  3. "Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?"


  4. "Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?"


  5. "About the big things people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?"

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The ICS uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the ICS = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as those polled back in 1966.

The ICS is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer valuable insight into consumer spending.

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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Friday, July 16, 2021

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for June 2021

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for June 2021:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.551% (+$3,402,000,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage above represents the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable and non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food and beverage services.

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  • Estimated Retail Sales During June 2021: $621,340,000,000
  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +17.978% (+$94,681,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - June 2021 Update
CHART: Retail Sales - June 2021 Update

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2021

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2021:

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Import Prices
Predicted: +1.1%
Actual: +1.0%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +11.2%

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Export Prices
Predicted: +1.1%
Actual: +1.2%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +16.8%

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The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.

Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


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CHART: Import Price Index - June 2021 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
June 2021 Update

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CHART: Export Price Index - June 2021 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
June 2021 Update

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 9, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 9, 2021 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -7,900,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -94,100,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 437,600,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).



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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2021

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2021:

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CPI During June 2021: 271.696

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Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +0.929% (+2.501 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +5.391% (+13.899 points)

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Below is the CPI when food and energy are removed, also known as core CPI:

Predicted: 0.7%
Actual: 0.9%

  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.5%

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The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent the seasonally adjusted, month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)


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CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - June 2021 Update
CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI)
June 2021 Update

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CPI During May 2021: 269.195

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Thursday, July 08, 2021

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 3, 2021

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 3, 2021:

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Predicted: 400,000

  • Actual: 373,000
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The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (revised): 371,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 394,500

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 2, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 2, 2021 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -6,900,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -93,700,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 445,500,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for May 2021

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS*) for May 2021 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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Job Openings

Predicted: 9,000,000
Actual:    9,209,000 (All-Time Record High)

  • Previous Month (revised): 9,193,000

  • One Year Previous: 5,447,000

  • Change from one year previous: +69.07% (+3,762,000)

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Hires: 5,927,000 

Total Separations §: 5,318,000 

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From Today's Release:

"...Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on May 2021 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Data

Data collection for the JOLTS survey was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While 42% of data are usually collected by phone at the JOLTS data collection center, most phone respondents were asked to report electronically. However, data collection was adversely impacted due to the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond by phone. The JOLTS response rate for May was 44percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic averaged 54%. More information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS survey, including information about the JOLTS estimation methodology, is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-may-2021.htm..."

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CHART: Total Nonfarm Hires and Separation Rates - May 2021 Update
CHART: Total Nonfarm Hires and Separation Rates
May 2021 Update
 
 
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§ = Here's How The Labor Department Defines Total Separations:

"Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm."

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Friday, July 02, 2021

Employment Situation Report for June 2021

The Employment Situation Report for June 2021 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +700,000
Actual: +850,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 5.9%
Previous Month: 5.8%
12 Months Previous: 11.1%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 9.8%
Previous Month: 10.2%
12 Months Previous: 18.0%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.33% (+$0.10)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.5%
Actual: +3.578% (+$1.05)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.042% (+$0.44)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.877% (+$39.37)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 61.6%
Previous Month: 61.6%
12 Months Previous: 61.4%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.9 hours
Actual: 34.7 hours

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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From Today's Report:

 "...The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised down by 9,000, from +278,000 to +269,000, and the change for May was revised up by 24,000, from +559,000 to +583,000. With these revisions, employment in April and May combined is 15,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) ..."

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CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate - June 2021 Update

CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate
June 2021 Update

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CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment - June 2021 Update

CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment
June 2021 Update

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 * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

"Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."


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Thursday, July 01, 2021

Construction Spending During May 2021

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for May 2021:

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: -0.272% (-$4,216,000,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Estimated construction spending during May 2021: $1,545,272,000,000.

  • April 2021 (revised): $1,549,488,000,000.
     
  • Change from 12 months previous: +7.481% (+$107,551,000,000.)


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CHART: Construction Spending During May 2021
CHART: Construction Spending During May 2021

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